Robotics Builds First Place Finish


We are the Champions– The Robotics teams celebrate after their victory at the FIRST Tech Challenge on Jan. 21 at Academy of Our Lady. Pictured from top left are Mr. Matt Foss (coach), Abigayle Rainer, Lauren Cage, Catherine Bickerton, Victoria Chan, Logan Jackson, Onyinyechi Okeke, Mrs. Madelyn Maldonado (coach), Mrs. Crissy Giacona (coach), Allie Norvell, Heather Jackson, Annmarie Raque, Ariana Practor, Anita Whitner, Josie Woods, Mia Nguyen, Olivia, Cheung, Kate Heller, Indya Taylor, Skyler Franklin and Kayla Nguyen. “I am so proud of the girls and all they accomplished,” said Mrs. Giacona. “All of their hard work has paid off!”

Beep Beep – the Robotics team is gearing up to compete!

On January 21, Dominican’s varsity robotics teams, Dream Machine and Digibots, competed at Academy of Our Lady’s gymnasium during the FIRST Tech Challenge’s Kickoff competition.

Dominican’s Dream Machine team took home first place for the Motivate Award, emphasizing school spirit and cohesive teamwork.

Not to be out maneuvered the Digibots took home first place for the Think Award, which focused on the team’s planned layout and participation in their Engineering Notebook and third place for the Motivate award.

“The purpose of Robotics is to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math courses in a fun activity,” said club moderator Mrs. Giacona, science teacher. “I am so proud of the girls and all they accomplished!”

In order to participate in the FIRST Tech Challenge, the DHS Robotics Team constructed a strategy.  They earned a $5,000 grant from DOW Chemical Company to construct a robot with certain height and materials required for the competition.

The FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, Tech Challenge inspires students to practice engineering principles, such as keeping an engineering notebook, and realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas.

During the competition, the teams had thirty seconds to direct their robots to score as many points as possible by maneuvering particles into baskets.

Over the past several months, the teams have prepared for this competition.  They have been constructing robots and practicing two to three times a week. The Robotics team used tools such as Dremels, band saws and drills to construct their robots. The rectangular robots designed were fewer than eighteen inches cubed and had the abilities to defend, roll on ramps and catapult objects.


All Hands on Deck The Robotics teams gear up for their January competition at Academy of Our Lady.  Sophomores Kate Heller, Annmarie Raque and Kayla Nguyen busily construct the robot used in the face-to-face competition. “I really enjoyed competing,” said Raque.  “I learned about Robotics and about working as a team.” 

“I was surprised at how complicated each teams’ robots were,” said freshman Catherine Bickerton. “And everyone was so kind to each other.  It made the competition more fun!”

Robotics is an opportunity for students to experience what it is like to be in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math career. According to Mrs. Giacona, the team members learn important communication skills such as speaking with other teams and collaborating within their own teams.

Because of the winning performances in the FIRST Tech Challenge, both teams are eligible to compete in the Regional competition, scheduled for March 4 at the University of New Orleans.

-Brogan Hausknecht